Society starts to tell us who we should be very, very early in life. We’re taught norms and exposed to people’s expectations before we even start school.
We learn what kinds of foods people expect us to eat (and what foods we should expect other people to eat) in our homes and at daycare.
We learn what kind of music is “normal” based on what our parents and other people around us play.
We’re even taught who we’re expected to like, get along with, and love before we ever learn why we should.
We pick up accents, we learn mannerisms, and we accept certain standards for how people (ourselves included) should be treated.
Until someone or something comes along and shakes up how we see things—if that ever happens.
Or until we’re given the choice to say “no” to something we’ve always felt expected to say “yes” to and find it liberating.
Have you ever experienced a “no” that set you free?
Or a “yes” that opened up doors to worlds you don’t want to leave?
Or are you still nodding along the way your world expects you to?
Do you know what you actually like?
We’ll get to that another day, so don’t worry too much if that question gave you anxiety.
Today is just for thinking about some of the things that were imposed on you that you haven’t questioned.
Your line of work might be what your family expected from you when they told you to go to college and get a “good” job.
One too many Disney movies that your babysitter played for you may have made you think that love only happens one kind of way.
Being surrounded by people who wear their hair a way that your hair just can’t be worn naturally might have made you feel that you need to suffer through what it takes to conform.
Your “favorite” genre of music might just be the genre that the kids you grew up with told you you were cool for liking, but might not actually be the genre you love most.
In fact, you might not actually like a lot of the things you spend the most of your time doing, but because it’s normal to do these things, you think you’re really into them.
You might not be.
I’m not here today to tell you to throw the whole lifestyle away. I’m really not.
You may have been steered in the right direction for you.
This is just a little note to remind you to think about whether or not you actually like what you say you like.
A reminder to mindfully make choices that serve you.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself.
What kind of relationship can you have with someone if you don’t know what they like?
Next week I’ll talk a little more about why you might be avoiding some of your truths.